Nnenna Ihebom posing with ancestry statue

-Polygamy is an African thing. Even after everything the invaders did, polygamy      has  remained for those who desire it, just as it was in the olden days.

-Yes, even at that time, it was strictly a choice, not a commandment that must be   obeyed.

-But one thing I am sure of is that polygamy had nothing to do with lgbo   spirituality.

It was and is just a social behaviour that was used to take care of certain problems.
Nobody can stop a real African man from taking more wives if that is what he wants but that does not mean that his wives must take it.

That is where their own choice comes in. A woman may choose to leave the place the moment the atmosphere becomes toxic to her peace of mind.

Anyone that says it is a problem of the modern woman is telling lies. The highest metaphor for hate and strife in the igbo world is the nwanedi syndrome.

It started the very day polygamy started. However, the women had no choice but to stay and endure and fight when the need arose. Their children were not spared. They learnt enmity from childhood.

There were a few exceptions from this norm where the man had extra wisdom and made that extra effort to keep peace and make everyone happy.

That does not mean that polygamy is a rosy experience by any stretch of the imagination.

It is very unrealistic for our men in tradition (odinala) to expect the women to throw their weight behind this push for them to drag four women into one house in the name of marriage.

There are women who may not mind, but I assure you, they are very few.

Women generally prefer the one man one woman arrangement because it breeds less stress and rancour.

Again, the reality of our society makes it a better option to have less mouths to feed. How many men can boast of having barns full of yams and cocoyams today? Those who are working on the restoration of our odinala should focus more on the core. Polygamy is not part of the core.

It is a choice but one that should be carefully considered before jumping into.

Writing by: Nnenna Ihebom


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